SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel Corp.'s biggest rival in the microprocessor market, suffered a major blow Wednesday with the resignation of President and Chief Operating Officer Atiq Raza, heir apparent to Chief Executive Jerry Sanders.
Raza said he's leaving for personal reasons and will end his career at AMD on Friday. Sanders will become acting COO, president and chief technical officer. Raza, one of AMD's best technical minds, also left the company's board of directors.
Raza's departure comes at a tough time for AMD, which has lost money in six of the last eight quarters because of price cuts by Intel and its own production problems.
"It's certainly going to reduce confidence in the company's ability to compete," said Linley Gwennap, chief analyst at Sebastopol, Calif.-based Cahners MicroDesign Resources. "Atiq was the one guy in upper management that really understood the technology behind the K6 and K7," AMD's two major microprocessor product lines.
Separately, AMD said it had a second-quarter loss from operations of $162 million, or $1.10 a share, compared with a loss of $64.6 million, or 45 cents, in the year-earlier period. In trading before the announcements, AMD shares rose 94 cents to close at $18 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Analysts polled by First Call Corp. had expected a loss of $1.26 a share. Sales rose 13%, to $595.1 million from $526.5 million.